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Avocados & Vitamin K

by
author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Avocados & Vitamin K
Ripe avocados grow on a tree. Photo Credit karammiri/iStock/Getty Images

Avocados are maligned for being high in calories and high in fat. While you get about 322 calories and 29 grams of mostly monounsaturated, hearty-healthy fat per fruit, you also get a high concentration of many nutrients. One of these is vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin. Avocados come in several varieties, but all types offer similar nutrition. To boost your overall nutrition, add rich, creamy avocados to the fresh produce you regularly enjoy.

Importance of Vitamin K

Getting enough vitamin K in your diet proves essential for healthy platelet function. Your platelets -- a type of small blood cells -- help safeguard against blood loss by coagulating and forming clots that cut off bleeding after an injury. This coagulation requires a series of chemical reactions, called a cascade, and these requires need vitamin K to occur. As a result, low vitamin K levels in your body put you at risk of clotting. Vitamin K also supports bone health, activating proteins needed for healthy bone and cartilage growth.

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Vitamin K in Avocados

Avocado provides a moderate amount of vitamin K per serving, helping you reach the 90 and 125 micrograms recommended daily for women and men, respectively. A half of an avocado contains 21.2 micrograms of vitamin K -- up to 17 percent of your daily requirements. Cubed and sliced avocado contain 15.8 and 15.3 micrograms of vitamin K per half-cup serving, respectively, and a quarter-cup serving of pureed avocado contains 12.1 micrograms of vitamin K.

How to Eat Avocados

While avocados are sometimes eaten out-of-hand with a sprinkling of salt, they're mostly eaten with other foods. To make "guacamole" dip for your tortilla chips, mash avocado with a fork, mix in a little lemon or lime juice and minced garlic, and add some chopped tomato. Use this guacamole to top sandwiches, tacos and burgers. Add cubed avocados to omelets or salads. Toss diced avocado with diced mango, cucumber, red bell pepper and lime juice to make a salsa for the top of fish or chicken breast.

Considerations

If you are on blood thinning medications, watch your vitamin K intake -- too much vitamin K can change the way your medication works. Because they are so high in calories, moderate your intake of other high-calorie foods on the days you enjoy avocados. In addition to avocados, get your vitamin K from vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and cabbage, and from olive oil. Vitamin K is available as a supplement, but it's better absorbed from food than from supplements. If you are considering vitamin K supplements, consult your doctor beforehand to find out if they are safe for you.

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